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Review Article
Nature 355, 783 - 790 (27 February 1992); doi:10.1038/355783a0

Origin and evolution of the genus Homo

Bernard Wood

Bernard Wood is in the Hominid Palaeontology Research Group, Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Liverpool, PO Box 147, Liverpool 169 3BX, UK.

It is remarkable that the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest known representatives of our own genus, Homo, remain obscure. Advances in techniques for absolute dating and reassessments of the fossils themselves have rendered untenable a simple unilineal model of human evolution, in which Homo habilis succeeded the australopithecines and then evolved via H. erectus into H. sapiens — but no clear alternative consensus has yet emerged.

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